Jessica’s Update

Note: Jessica’s Story was originally published on 2/5/18

I submitted my story of loss months ago. This is my story of closure.

These past 9 months have taught me so much. I’ve grown more in them than I have in my entire life. The journey of not being okay, being okay, not being okay, being okay – it’s exhausting. It’s draining and it feels like it is absolutely never ending. I never knew heartbreak like I felt the day we were told we were no longer going to be parents. For months I felt like I was never going to recover. I was so angry with myself and my body, but even more so at all these amazing women around me that got to experience what my body was literally made for but failed at. I’ve spent hours trying to come up with memorials, poems, tattoos, ANYTHING to commemorate the passing of a baby that I never knew. It wasn’t until this past week that I finally came to the realization that nothing will ever replace the feeling. No balloon release or planting of a tree. It works for others, and that’s amazing, but it isn’t for me. Nothing tangible will suffice the missing piece of me that I now bare.

I was on a cruise last week and we were in Belize. We had just walked around the Altun Ha Mayan Site when my family climbed up the Sun God’s Tomb. I stood at the bottom, alone, just taking in all the Temples around me and all the people laughing and taking pictures. And I felt really small and invisible. Afterwards we went to look at souvenirs and this one woman pulled me to the side and handed me a Jade stone with a temple carved into it. (The name I have always felt belonged to my child-to-be was Jade.) She saw tears in my eyes and asked me what was wrong and I confided in this woman who barely spoke English and lived what felt like worlds away. She cried with me and said she had also lost a baby. She very well could have been just trying to make a buck, but what she did for me was worth so much more than she’ll ever understand. I was standing in Belize, alone, crying with a stranger about something we had both experienced. I bought the stone, walked away to collect myself, and then came back to my husband and family. I had never felt so at peace with myself and what my life had become.

I know a lot of people feel like I’m wrong for talking about it again. I don’t post about it often because others think I’m wrong for it. But I’ve neglected what will make me feel better to spare others, and I don’t think I’ve been fair to myself. Posting this will make me feel better simply because I know of some women on my timeline who have also suffered a loss and they deserve to know that there is no right or wrong way to cope, as long as you remember to take care of yourself in the process. I’ve grown away from some people and I’ve grown closer to others. This loss has put my entire life off track, but somehow into the right one.

The best way I can ever make sure my child is never forgotten is by living my life to the fullest. So as tomorrow comes, I won’t be sad for what was due. I’m going to rejoice for this new life that has been born upon me and make sure to never take my life and loved ones for granted again.

-Jessica Stamper
Published 6/20/18